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Fatoumata Diawara

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Boundless music.

The artist Fatoumata Diawara has two Grammy nominations and over one million listeners on Spotify. She has collaborated with artists such as Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz) and, according to herself, is the first Malian woman to play the electric guitar. 

Albarn is also a co-producer on her third album, London Ko, which gives the listener insight into an alternative Africa.  

"For me, London Ko means opening your mind," says Diawara. 

The title represents a fusion of Europe and Africa; a separate continent representing the possibility of a different future for Africans. On the album, she also collaborates with rapper M.anifest, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, and pianist Roberto Fonseca. This musical diversity can be said to be descriptive of Diawara as an artist. 

The music moves from jazz to afrobeat with influences from both West Africa and Western pop. The lyrics deal with racism, oppression of women, and African identity, sung in the Malian language of Bambara. 

Aftenposten has described her concerts as "a musical revival meeting," where Fatoumata Diawara offers striking audience engagement and an inexhaustible energy reserve.

Photo: Shelby Duncan

Last Updated: 04/12/2024

Source: Visit Bergen

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